By Jayden Mark
Whether you are a man or a woman, the one thing that unarguably impacts the quality of your hike is your footwear. Hiking boots and shoes are not your average running shoes. They are designed to stand up to abuse, and offer greater support at the base of your feet. Plus, they are more flexible and allow your feet to bend and grip as per the demands of the terrain. They also lend sufficient ankle support and greater freedom of movement, in order to help you conquer your day hikes with ease.
Tough Lightweight Hiking Footwear With Waterproof Options
Do you often dream of disconnecting from work and submerging yourself in a verdant expanse of towering trees, undulating blankets of wildflowers and never-ending blue skies? Do you love to hike tirelessly without caring about the hurdles of engaging in a rigorous outdoor venture? Then what you need is a reliable pair of boots that keep your feet protected on a lengthy day on the trail. Believe it or not, there are specific types of hiking boots designed for men.
They are significantly heavier than the ones designed for women. Plus they are low-cut and wider around the midsole area, in order to provide a concise fit. However, just like their female counterparts, they lend an equal amount of ankle support and toe protection. In short, they are hardened to combat jagged slopes, slippery rocks and loose gravel. Here, we have rounded up the topmost comfortable hiking boots for men, so you don’t get riddled with aching foot and get your day hike ruined in the process.
Comfortable Waterproof Hiking Boots for Men
1. Merrell Men’s Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
A high-quality, mid-height hiking boot for all types of environment, the Merrell Moab Mid Ventilator is designed for anyone who is looking for a lightweight and supportive option. It is equipped with a sturdy leather and mesh upper, in order to ensure optimal comfort on long day hikes. And it’s versatile styling makes it a nice choice for outdoor adventures. Plus there is additional support around the ankle to lodge your feet in place and help you step out in confidence. And for those who are prone to accidental falls and injuries, there is also a stable Vibram sole that provides sufficient grip for traversing jagged slopes and bumpy trails.
If you’re planning on using your hiking shoes in dry weather and mostly on the trails, you are sure to be satisfied with these Merell boots. They are lightweight, well-ventilated and give you maximum ankle support provided you aren’t packing a very heavy weight. They do have a few letdowns, and are not as waterproof as their counterparts, but otherwise, they are flawless and reward you with years of dependable use before you even begin to think of buying new ones.
2. KEEN Men’s Targhee 3 Mid WP Hiking Boot
This modish-styled boot from the house of KEEN has all the virtues to become your lone friend when covering hundreds of miles over a span of few days. It comes replete with an exemplary set of features, including a leather framework, durable construction, right arch support, and water-repellent properties, to name a few. A closer look at this boot will tell you that it has all the features to help minimize the rigors of your outdoor adventures.
Overall, this boot an impressive example of a mid-range hiking footwear. It strikes the right balance between comfort and fashion and keeps your feet feeling cozy, secure and safe even during multiple treks. Crisscrossing canyons and paths is a breeze with these on, as they make you feel light and free.
You don’t have to be an expert hiker to appreciate the premium comfort and support offered by Salomon X Ultra hiking boots. Deemed as a nice choice for backpackers who prefer lightweight gear, this versatile boot is equipped with a breathable and waterproof rubber with rubber enhancements for increased flexibility during bumpy hikes. There is a gusseted tongue that minimizes the excess pressured caused by laces, as well as a unique, anatomically shaped footbed to help your feet bend naturally to accommodate the twists and turns of hiking trails.
All in all, this boot is recommended for lightweight hiking to backpacking and practically any outdoor adventure you have in mind. It ticks all the boxes of a durable and contoured footwear that minimizes the chance of leg injuries and enhances your postural stability for traversing trails that are strewn with obstacles. To top it all, it has been constructed cleverly to stay durable in the face of abrasion, as well as provide a precise fit that keeps your feet safe and steady.
4. Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus 2 Waterproof Hiking Boot
Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge hiking boots are built to deliver the best in terms of style, performance, versatility and price value. They feature the Omni-tech waterproof technology that allows them to stave off the effects of unfavorable weather and prevent it from affecting your feet. They also have a stain-resistant cover that enables them to last a year or two without showing wear and tear. The prominent design is alluring too, as it gives the boot a distinguished look.
Overall, this is a boot that delivers what it claims. Its pros outweigh its flaws by a long shot and it’s suitable for any outdoor enthusiast. Also, the price is reasonable and just what you would like to spend for footwear of this quality. Even if you tend to hike heavily round the year, you can still expect them to last over year or so. They are lightweight, repel mud and water, and allow you to walk long distances without feeling any discomfort.
5. Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot
It’s easy to see why this boot is the best-selling hiking footwear on Amazon. For starters, it is multi-purpose, meaning it’s use can be extended to all sorts of environments and activities, from leisure walking to traversing along rugged trails. In fact, they are so comfortable that you can take a power nap without even taking them off! Moreover, they are covered with a waterproof leather lining that makes them resilient to the effects of weather. All the seams are sealed tightly to prevent any untoward tears from abrasion.
Overall, it would be fair to say that these White Ledge boots do deliver what they promise. They are best suited for outdoor activities like hiking, walking, jogging, working in the garden and working out in the gym. And while they are not good enough for hard-core mountaineering, they do have the potential to offer years of satisfactory usage before needing a replacement.
6. Ariat Men’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot
Whether you want to climb the rocky mountains or make your way through the woods, this boot has got you covered. Made of full grain, oiled leather on top, it is designed to provide ample toe space and plenty of room for your feet to breathe. Additionally, it features synthetic soles that are so light that they won’t drag you down and instead feel like you are getting a massage as you walk.
Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking boots may not be the ultimate answer for hiking in all sorts of terrains, but they are certainly a good choice for people who want to add stylish, lightweight and supportive hiking footwear to their collection.
7. Dunham Men’s Cloud Mid-Cut
Dunham Men’s Cloud Mid-Cut is a high-quality hiking boot that is sure to make your tryts with nature comfortable and memorable, all for the right reasons! They offer great traction and support to tired feet and are essentially waterproof. Plus they are slip-resistant and enhance the confidence of traversing along tricky hiking trails. In fact, these Dunhams are among the most comfortable and budget-friendly boots currently available in the market.
All in all, these new Dunham boots are robust, durable and suitable for your outdoor ventures. They are definitely one of the best you will ever own and are sure to win you over with their comfortable grip and steady make.
8. Vasque Men’s Talus Trek Ultradry Hiking Boot
The rigors of hiking are different for different seasons, but the requirement for managing them remain the same — high-quality hiking boots that offer a combination of support, comfort and traction in equal measures. The Vasque Talus Trek UltraDry does just that. It meets all your expectations with aplomb and quits on trail only when you decide to.
Vasque Men’s Talus Trek Ultradry offers the same features as your ordinary hiking boot, albeit in revamped versions. They are designed for hard-core hiking, running and mountaineering and manage to strike a nice balance between support and flexibility without compromising on the comfort quotient. Whether you are beginner-level hiker or a adventure buff, these boots won’t disappoint!
9. Danner Men’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot
With a sleek suede upper that promises utmost durability and a 100% waterproof barrier to ensure maximum comfort, these Danner Boots are designed to impress. Their major USP is the comfort they offer. In fact, they are so versatile that you can even lace them on for everyday wear. They are as light as your regular sneakers and yet have the functionality of a heavy duty hiking boot. They are reasonably flexible around the midsole to help you adjust your stride as per the demands of the terrain and prevent yourself from tripping.
You will love to explore offbeat paths or rediscover your favorite trails with these boots. They are so light and stylish that you would even love to walk on your city streets in them! But don’t be fooled by their pretty face. They come replete with an impressive set of features that live up to their hype and give you a great value for your money!
10. Propet Men’s Ridge Walker Hiking Boot
The product name is pretty self-explanatory! Propet Men’s Ridge Walker is a rugged, stiff, hardy hiking boot, with a polished oily look that appeals to adventurers who like keeping it stylish. It features a waterproof premium leather upper and a mesh lining that is breathable and porous. The insides are thick and padded to ease the rigors of outdoor stress. It’s essentially hard to get a callus or blister with these boots on!
Long story short, if you are looking for a mid-range hiking boot at an affordable price point and robust enough to withstand abrasion and weather, then the Propet Men’s Ridge Walker is for you!
Designed specifically to fit the natural form of a woman’s feet, these boots combine comfort with style, without compromising on either. They are as light as your ordinary sneakers and dissipate the shocks resulting from stomping on roads dotted with sharp objects. Whether you wish to trek through the mountaintops, or make your way through the muddy paths leading into the woods, modern hiking boots have got you covered!
Here we have compiled a list of some of the most comfortable hiking boots for females so that no footwear can ever come between you and your adventure:
Comfortable Waterproof Hiking Boots for Women
1. Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Merell Women’s Moab Hiking boot has all the virtues of a great backpacking boot. It’s made of superior leather fabric, so that you can cope up with the varying weather conditions, and comes fitted with Vibram lugs to ensure your feet flexes easily on rugged terrains for top-notch comfort.
Additionally, the boot features a waterproof-breathable membrane that lets moisture escape and keeps the weather out. This prevents water from entering your feet and moisture from accumulating within, thereby keeping your feet dry and free of odor. To top it all, this boot has been designed specifically to cater to the form and needs of women hikers.
When it comes to stable footwear for rough outdoor usage, you should always opt for quality over appearance. These trail boots are designed to get you through unpredictable weather and keep your feet feeling secure, comfort and strong.
2. KEEN Women’s Targhee III Mid WP Hiking Boot
If you thought lightweight, stylish boots came at the cost of functionality, you might be wrong because the Targhee III Mid WP Hiking Boot by KEEN is out to change that. Touted as one of most high-quality hiking boots for females, they provide suitable traction, comfort and support for extended backpacking. They are fitted with an aggressive sole, to help you maintain adequate posture and stay upright while hiking. And they are so comfortable that you can practically sleep on them at night!
This boot from the house of KEEN is inexpensive yet superior in terms of performance and quality. It’s comfortable around the toes and it’s durability is practically unparalleled. If you are looking to buy a hiking boot that is designed to keep your feet secure and strong and get you through the toughest of terrains without any blisters or sprains, you should definitely consider this one!
3. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge is the perfect example of a hardened hiking boot that offers the best of two worlds: quality and low cost. Despite being inexpensive, this leather-synthetic hybrid is well-built and features a waterproof construction that secures you from the ravages of unpredictable weather.
Whether you are looking to go for a day hike in the sun or go for a weekend backpacking in the snow, the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge won’t disappoint. It encompasses durable construction with practical features and high-quality components to give you the experience of a high-end, standard hiking boot.
4. Timberland Women’s White Ledge Hiking Boot
With a tough, seam-sealed leather construction and a 100% waterproof covering, the Timberland White Ledge boots are especially designed to allow the natural motions of your foot. They are flexible, durable and offer a snug fit. While walking in rain and snow is their USP, they are suitable for any terrain. Their solid outsoles offer excellent traction and tight grip. Plus, they integrate lugs at strategic positions to minimize the pressure of walking on bumpy roads.
Timberland Women’s White Ledge boots are replete with a novel set of features that is sure to surpass your expectations and reward you with years of reliable use. They are designed to endure all types of weather and function well on those times when most of the entry-level hiking boots fail.
5. Vasque Women’s Breeze Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
An incredibly agile mid-weight hiking boot, the Vasque Breeze is one of the most stable and weather-proof trekking boots in the market. Its features a high cuff for offering better foot control and stability for hiking on steep trails with loose rocks. It is fitted with thermoplastic urethane plate to give you the rigidity for conquering exhaustive, long day hikes. The narrow heel box gives security to your instep, making sure you don’t slip on sloppy surfaces. With a higher arch and narrower heel cup, these boots are specifically designed to cater to the typical form and needs of a woman’s feet.
The Vasque Women’s Breeze is definitely one of the most versatile and impressive hiking boots out there. While it does have the feel of a burly backpacking boot due to the supportive midsole, other features like the stability plate, the tall cuff, Gore-Tex liner, and the overall responsiveness make it feel like a light fitness shoes.
6. Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot
Designed with advanced footwear technology, Ariat Women’s Hiking boot features a cutting-edge construction designed to offer supreme feet protection and exceptional comfort in the face of abrasive conditions. Manufactured to incorporate a waterproof coating, as well as a full grain leather border, it helps make sure that your feet remains comfortable at all times.
The uppers are made of Cordura material that is durable, lightweight and breathable. In other words, it helps to minimize the rigors of hiking. Plus the Duratread outsoles guarantee long-lasting traction, and make the boots suitable for all types of outdoor activities.
If you are looking for a suitable shoe to wear to any outdoor event, these boots by Ariat are for you. While designed to meet the rigorous demands of hiking, they are super stylish and comfortable, which makes them attractive for all sorts of endeavors.
7. Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot
Timberland Trail Boots are the perfect answer for any women looking to lay her hands on hiking footwear that is fashionable, multi-purpose, as well as robust. They are lightweight and water repellent boots that are strong enough to withstand rough weather and abrasions. Plus, they have all the right contours to make sure the heel stays attached to the boot and doesn’t feel awkward.
You will love these boots for the superb grip they offer, as well as their sturdiness and rugged design. They are resilient to smears and stains and last long, giving you a great value for your precious pennies. To top it all, they keep away the mud, water and debris from permeating and spoiling your delicate feet. And the best part is that they are designed for the feminine feet. As a woman hiker, what more can you ask for!
8. Ahnu Women’s Montara III WP Boot
Comfortable right out of the box, the Ahnu Women’s Montara boot is a stylish, lightweight footwear choice for casual hiking in favorable weather. It is designed to keep your feet airy and odor-free till the end of the day and are so cozy and snug that you can even sleep on them at night! It offers brilliant arch support and balances the pressure you impose on your heel when lugging around with a heavy backpack.
Despite having durability issues and questionable waterproofing, the Ahnu Montaras manage to strike an excellent balance between hard-core hiking boots and the more casual hiking shoes. They are suitable for people with narrow feet and have all the features to become your go- To-choice for short day hikes along dry trails.
9. Danner Women’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot
Danner Women’s Mountain 600 is a multi-purpose and robust hiking boot designed to help you conquer wet and bumpy terrain like a pro. Constructed with high-quality waterproof suede, the boot allows for a nice and airy feel within while maintaining a robust exterior that protects your feet from the effects of abrasion and weather. The snazzy, minimalistic design ensures you don’t hesitate before strapping them on for a trip to the local market or even the bar without drawing stares of disapproval from others.
It doesn’t matter what your choice of terrain is, because the Danny Women’s Mountain 600 is suitable for hiking even on the most trickiest of terrains in the most treacherous of weather conditions. And the fact that it incorporates a modish look makes it a nice boot for people who need some motivation to venture outdoors on a lazy Sunday.
Lightweight Hiking Shoes That Don’t Weigh You Down
Question is which one is better, hiking shoe or hiking boot? Well, one of the primary departments where hiking shoes have a leverage is in their weight. Hiking boots often weigh a few ounces more and have the danger of weighing you down, especially if you are not accustomed to traveling long distances in lesser known paths. Boots do offer more protection from snow, mud and water, but they are definitely warmer as well, and do not feature that airy and bouncy feel characteristic to the shoes.
Overall, if you are looking to lug on light loads on day hikes and do not demand much in terms of ankle support, you are better off with a pair of lightweight hiking shoes. In the following section, we have rounded up popular lightweight styles of the top men’s hiking shoes that are sure to win you over with their innovation, design and features.
Best Lightweight Men’s Hiking Shoes
1. Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Ventilator Hiking Shoe
Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator is the ultimate answer for anyone looking to avail comfort, traction and top-notch weight support on a hiking trip. This shoe is rugged on the outside and cushy on the inside, giving your feet a nice and airy feel regardless of the weather outside. The long-lasting comfort keeps your feet rested and safe even after hours of rough hiking.
These Merrell Moab hiking shoes tick all the boxes of a robust and rugged footwear that performs well on ultra-hot hiking trips and long-distance adventures in wet weather. You can even wear them out for exploring canyons or hiking through the desert.
2. KEEN Men’s Targhee III Hiking Shoe
Crafted with quality materials and featuring a sporty design, the KEEN Men’s Targhee III is easily one of the most tried hiking shoes out there. It comes with the signature waterproof protection that stands up to wet climate and keeps your feet dry and odor-free even after long hikes. It also features a contoured secure heel for premium ankle support.
Despite some minor letdowns, the KEEN Men’s Targhee III doesn’t disappoint. It’s doesn’t need a break-in period and is comfortable from day one. Plus, it’s designed to adjust according to the natural contours of your feet and support any movement you make. And the foot support offered by the shank and midsole makes it a great choice for hiking with light-to-medium loads.
3. Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Hiking Shoe
A high-performance, long-distance trekking/hiking shoe, the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX comes with a wide spectrum of features that make it perfect for people with arthritic issues and back problems. With an abrasion-resistant nylon upper and Gore-Tex waterproof lining, the shoe is designed to keep your toes safe when hiking on rough terrain. Plus, it’s engineered with the 3D Chassis that consists of carefully designed components to keep your foot protected and safe. Additionally, the shoe also features the QuickLace unit that can be tightened easily by a single pull.
Salomon X Ultra GTX is a remarkable trekking shoe the performs exceptionally well for its price. It offers a great combination of cushioning, stability and comfort to improve the quality of your hike and reduce the stress of staying on your feet for prolonged hours. Overall, it’s suitable for anyone who wants a heavy-built trekking shoe at a reasonable cost.
4. Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport Shoe
The Vasque Juxt Multi-Sport hiking shoe is definitely one of the most multi-functional footwear you will ever own. It features a sporty, modish design that complements any backdrop, right from the desert to the office. In addition to being supportive for everyday use, they are ultra padded to give you sufficient comfort for walking non-stop without breaks. Basically, if you are looking for a hiking shoe with boot-like characteristics and more support than your ordinary sneakers, then the Vasque Men’s Juxt should be your answer.
Overall, the Vasque Men’s Juxt has been rated highly by hikers, military men and women, as well as trail runners. While it is not the ideal heavy-duty footwear for hiking on the Appalachian Trail with a heavy load, it is certainly perfect for most running and hiking trails. It offers a unique mix of flexibility and support to help you adjust your feet naturally on rock scrambles and muddy trails. And it’s exceptionally versatile, so you can even wear them to the office without looking crazy!
5. Columbia Men’s Granite Ridge Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Whether you are thru-hiking, or cruising on steep switchbacks, you need a pair of shoes that absorbs the shock of bumpy terrain and delivers the right amount of traction to help you focus more on the adventures and less on your feet. Well, the Granite Ridge Hiker does just that! It features a unique combination of cushioning, support and fit, giving you a lively and airy feel that you will surely appreciate when you are away from home on your feet all day!
The combination of abrasion-proof leather and webbed upper makes this shoe unparalleled in terms of comfort and ankle support. So no more hip pain or ankle pain; These shoes come with sufficient cushioning to keep you comfy and snug during prolonged outdoor adventures. And the seam-sealed construction stays taught and intact even in the face of awry weather and rough terrain.
If you are new hiker, or looking to participate in long hikes, you are better off with a high-top, or above-the-ankle hiking shoe. The latter comes with sufficient support and stability to ease the stress of extended hikes and heavy backpacks. On the other hand, low-top shoes are more on the lighter side and are recommended for short trips rather than long-distance hikes on well-worn trails.
Now that you know what you are looking for, it’s time we delve into the most sought-after lightweight hiking shoes for women. Here is a roundup of the best in the market.
Top Rated Lightweight Women’s Hiking Shoes
1. KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe
A well-constructed hiking shoe that is definitely better than an average hiking boot, the Voyageur from the house of KEEN is a mid-to-low hiker with a mesh upper, stiff rubber outsole and dual-density EVA midsole, to give you the maximum in terms of support, comfort and protection. On the inside, it features plenty of room and padding to cradle your feet even when you have walked for miles at a stretch.
Long story short, if you have relatively wide feet, and are looking for a lightweight and comfy pair of hikers at a reasonable price point, the KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe is your answer. Just make sure you use it on dry terrain as it offers poor traction on wet surfaces.
2. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Overall, these Merrell shoes excel at short daylight hikes in hot and dry weather. While they may not be the #1 choice for walking on sandstone or slick surfaces, it’s particularly built for fast-paced hiking on flat terrain. It is also great for hiking in the canyons or canoeing, as it dries quickly when soaked.
3. Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker
The Siren Edge hiker from the house of Merrell is designed with comfort in mind. It’s breathable, cushioned and contoured the accommodate the natural motions of your feet. Plus, it features a stiff yet roomy interior that makes it suitable for wearing with orthotic support and additional inserts. The dependable Vibram rubber outsole further makes it a solid choice of footwear to conquer long trail hikes.
All in all, the Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker lives up to its claims. While it is not really waterpoof and heavy-duty, it is certainly burly enough to withstand varied terrain and give you the grip you need to stay on your feet on lengthy hikes in erratic weather. It comes with air cushioning around the exposed parts of your feet and features a sturdy make to ensure years of satisfactory usage.
Backpacking Boots or Hiking Boots?
In case you’re wondering, backpacking boots are different from hiking boots. They are designed to carry more weight and have stiffer midsoles that are suitable for walking long distances at a stretch. Moreover, they come with reinforced ankle support to help you carry heavy backpacks without putting too much pressure on your ankles.
With hiking boots, you get the confidence to travel through inches deep slush and slippery or rocky trails without getting a painful ache or a sore blister. In addition to a sturdy exterior hardened for abuse, they come with a coarse structured sole that prevents you from skidding. If you are trudging with a heavy backpack, you should certainly consider these boots as they provide more ankle coverage and help you maintain an upright posture, thereby offsetting the pressure in your neck and shoulders.
Long story short, any sort of hiking becomes invariably easier with hiking boots, but they are an absolute necessity if your trail is particularly rocky, uneven, covered in roots and remarkably steep.
Hiking Shoes for a Lighter Experience
Hiking may have tons of benefits on your mind and body, but the right kind of gear might actually be the deciding factor that either enhances or deteriorates your experience. Indeed, a comfortable and well-fitting pair of hiking shoes that is in tune with the rigors of the terrain can divert your focus from your feet to the pleasures of wandering in the lap of Mother Nature. On the other hand, an ill-fitting, flimsy pair of shoes can give you blisters and achy feet that are bound to ruin what could have been a fabulous outing.
Ideal hiking shoes feature durable soles with superb traction and midsole detailing that primarily focus on increasing foot support for walking with moderate loads. They also contain waterproof linings to shield your feet from the effects of erratic weather and challenging terrain. Touted as the most popular footwear choice for day hikes, hiking shoes manage to strike the right balance between support and comfort, keeping you light, nimble and comfortable all day. They are thought to be more comfy than boots, and yet offer the same amount of traction. And the fact that they are more durable than ordinary trail runners makes them suitable for any back-country adventures. Most importantly, they are lightweight, and as a result, ideal for beginners, as well as people who are skeptical about trudging on a pair of burly boots for long hours.